Lenox Health Greenwich Village Expert Insights: Know the early signs of a concussion

August 1, 2019

By Sanjeev Kothare, MD

Lenox Health Greenwich Village Expert Insights: Know the early signs of a concussion

Protecting your kids from injury is a constant part of parenting. But despite your best efforts they do get injured—kids play hard and they don’t always listen to your sage advice on avoiding calamities. While you may have dealt with your share of cuts, sprains or broken bones, a concussion is an injury you might not recognize right away. A concussion isn’t visible from the outside, and you can’t see it with standard imaging tools like MRI and CAT scans. Instead, doctors look for the signs and symptoms of abnormal brain function to make a diagnosis.

You can’t keep your kids from ever getting a concussion, but you can equip yourself with the right information to be as prepared as possible. When you know what the common, early signs of a concussion are, you can quickly address the issue should it ever arise.

A concussion may be caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or body, causing the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull. This “invisible” injury disrupts the brain’s normal physiology which inhibits the normal functioning of the brain. Common causes of a concussion include car or ATV crashes, falls from bikes and skateboards, and sports-related injuries.

While a blow to the head may not seem serious immediately, concussion symptoms can develop upon impact or up to 48 hours after the incident. Ignoring any signs or symptoms of a concussion may put your child’s long- and short-term health at risk.

Early signs of a concussion include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Short term memory loss
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Problems with coordination and balance
  • Blurred vision/ringing in ears
  • Difficulty with vision
  • Emotional changes
  • Issues with sleep

Your child should be closely monitored for 24 to 48 hours following the injury. If signs and symptoms persist or worsen, call your doctor immediately. A concussion could take up to several months to fully heal. Your pediatrician will tell you when it’s safe for your child to resume physical activity.

Dr. Kothare Sanjeev

An expert in pediatric neurology, Sanjeev Kothare, MD, specializes in the treatment of a wide range of childhood neurological disorders, from epilepsy to sleep disorders. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kothare at Lenox Health Greenwich Village, please call 516.548.2539.

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